The four pillars of your book: 3. Your readers

Sculpture by Matthew Simmonds, book rests on four pillars: your expertise, your purpose in writing it, your audience, and your passion. Each of these pillars, as it takes its turn in the spotlight, can be seen as the single most important thing on which everything else depends, so right now, your readers are everything. In identifying your purpose, you may have said that your book’s role in the business is to raise your profile for speaking gigs, or as a freebie in return for sign-ups, or to earn passive income… but without readers, it has no purpose.

This is where we stop thinking about ourselves. Writing a book isn’t arrogant or selfish. Writing is an act of generosity: who are you helping? Who do you want to help?

As you progress through writing your book, you’ll think about your readers constantly, in different ways. You’ll identify them clearly. You’ll think about what they want vs what they need to learn. You’ll pick out friends and clients you know, to keep your writing on track. You’ll keep on writing as communication, directing their attention to what they need to see. At the foundation of all of this is choosing who you’re helping and who you want to help.

The other three pillars will inform this decision. The range of your expertise will show you which swathes of people you could help. Your purpose will narrow that down more precisely. Your passion and values will direct your choice. Your readers are who it’s all for.

If you want help getting your book’s pillars in place, the Find Your Book pack is packed with quick, focused exercises to make sure your book has its four pillars in place from the start. To get a free copy, email me at with a few details about your area of expertise. And for more on thinking about your readers, read these posts.

Image: Sculpture by Matthew Simmonds, photographed at the On Form exhibition, Asthall Manor, 2014

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>